baby yogaEarlier this morning I came across a video of a Russian mother swinging her baby around like a kettlebell, tossing it over her shoulders, and bouncing it like a Shake Weight by the ankles. The video is called "Baby Yoga with Lena Fokina" and it's tough to make it all the way through.

While some have speculated that the video is fake, it looks like it could be real. And since it could be, I wanted to know if it's straight up child abuse. Some people are calling for mom to be thrown in jail.

So I called up Dr. Jim Sears of the Doctor Phil spin-off "The Doctors" to see what he thought. Check out his reaction and the unsettling video after the jump.

The original video has already been removed from YouTube for being "shocking and disgusting." Here's a copy from Ebaum's World.


Dr. Jim's first reaction was, "I'm intrigued, but is this even real? The baby looks kind of rubbery, but I do see some leg motion at points."

So, assuming that it is real -- and since Gawker found more videos of baby-swinging yoga, it probably is -- Dr. Jim admitted that some of the moves look very unsafe:

Some of the moves this mother is doing seem to put a lot of torque on the shoulders, like when she swings the baby by his wrist, but other moves look fine. One worry is the centrifugal force on the child's head when he's swinging upside down. That's not healthy at all.
Other moves look just fine:
At one point, when the baby looks like he's sitting vertically on mom's chest, she bends the upper part of his body towards her like a crunch. This is actually a great move. Rocking a child back and forth gently helps children develop balance through the inner ear function that controls equilibrium. Some children have a Sensory Integration Disorder, and these types of swinging exercises are often used to help.

I speculated that maybe the mother might be a dancer, gymanst or circus performer. Dr. Sears thought, "Mom does look pretty buff, and these performing careers sometimes tend to run in the family."

In the end, Dr. Sears said that even though a lot of the motions featured in the video are completely safe, they're not performed in a safe way, or in a safe environment.

The UK's Daily Mail conjectures that the baby in the video "would likely suffer serious injuries," but cited no expert.